Pamela Ptak is from Bucks County, PA. Like me! This is may be the opposite of an endorsement.
Heidi is sending them on a little field trip that's a "little…………out there."
It's a farm. In the mud. Possibly manure. Just like Bucks County, minus the Amish and Sesame Place. Models are wearing potato sacks and black wellies. (By the way, I got a pair of Hunter wellies for Christmas and am not apologizing for how much I love them.) The challenge is to make a dress out of the burlap sacks for the models to wear to one of those annoying industry events on That Other Show That I Keep Trying To Watch And Falling Asleep During. And the shockingtwist! is that the models are the clients, AND they get to choose their designers. Shockingtwistagain! Pretty much everyone sticks with whoever they worked with on the first challenge, except for Mila's model, who picks Anthony. BURN! So she went with someone who wound up in the bottom? Versus someone from the middle-of-the-pack? Okay! Mila is a tad baffled and hurt, and understandably so.
So. The fabric is burlap, though they do get a pretty big selection of trim — ribbons, buttons, zippers, falderal and frippery. Everybody talks about why this challenge is challenging. They are challenged!
Sketching. Sewing. Obligatory product placement shots of like, one whole designer using the HP tablet and several designers getting confounded by the sewing machines. Lots of people are dyeing the burlap. Pamela makes her dyeing technique sound like something special, something something ombre, and it reminds me of Prince Valiant Fauntleroy Feather Prince from last season and I have a bit of a PTSD moment. MAN, LAST SEASON IS STILL MAKING ME STABBY.
Mila is having a crisis of confidence, thanks to her model bailing. I call top three.
Tim is tactfully trying to explain to Ping that the judges will be able to see her model's private parts on the runway.
Amy is having one of those classic "my model wants crazy shit that I don't" situations, as someone has every damn season ever. Her personal design hell includes puffy sleeves. Tim reminds her that the judges will not give a stiletto'd shit if something they hate was the model's idea.
The models come in for their fittings. Ping wants to make sure that her models' butt-ox are not showing. Sethrey thinks Ping is very good, but inexperienced.
Ben claims that his model fell in love with his look as soon as she saw it. Cut to: footage of the second she saw it, complete with a look of total trepidation and lip chewing.
Jonathan, who sort of reminds me of a dark-haired Perez Hilton for some reason, comments on Ping's design. "It. Doesn't. Cover. Herass!" I pause the DVR to catch up on my notes and the look on his face is all, "OMG! WTF! Liiiiike, HER ASS." I unpause it just in time to hear him use the word "ASSFLAP." I am going to use that in a sentence today.
Anthony is similarly bitchy about the "big ol' buttttt" on Pamela's garment.
Overall, a decent show! A few horrors for sure, but it seems like more people rose to the challenge than crashed and burned. Am picturing what last season's cast would have produced and it's giving me the shakes. (Although Is it just me, or did that Anna girl pretty much make the exact same dress as last week? And Emilio's dress was really nice, but he returned to that same applique technique again. You'll pay for that later, dude, once the obvious trainwrecks get auf'd.) Lauren Hutton is a guest judge, and a damn fine one.
Tops/Bottoms: Amy, Jesus, Mila, Jay, Ping, Pamela.
Jesus. Ugly. Uglyugly. The judges feel his ribbon technique is a cheat of the challenge, since it hides entirely too much of the fabric he was supposed to work with. Classic, classic mistake, and one that at least one person makes every time they throw one of these "unconventional materials" challenges at them. But even besides that, this is not a pretty dress. It looks like it got separated from its matching dowdy jacket on the sale rack.
Pamela and the "big ol' butt" dress, which wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. Her model simply HAS a butt. The judges disagree, and go on for quite some time about how much "bigger" she looks in this dress. Pamela's dyeing technique did indeed produce cool results, and from the front, I'd say her main crime was the stupidly short length. The back, though, is straight-up Frederick's of Hollywood Hookerwear. Her model, when asked, can't bring herself to say that she would wear this dress.
Ping. Oh, Ping. HOLY BUTTOX. Up close, during the judging, the dress was even more of a mess, with unfinished seams and badly-trimmed fabric. AND VISIBLE ASS. OH YEAH. Ping crumbles during judging and cries, and it's kind of a terribly heartbreaking little cry, and I just want them to send her home quickly and mercifully.
But then! The judges start going on about Ping's vision and eye and the potential of this dress, and Heidi asks the totally-producer-friendly question of "Do we want to see more from her?" Basically: Between Pamela and Ping, who is better living up to the kooky whack-job role that we cast her for?
Apparently, Ping is, and Pamela gets the auf. Um. Okay.
Mila. Top three. CALLED IT. But there is a lot to love about this dress, but if the Lifetime censors need to blur the gaping boobage of your garment, I feel like that should bump you from top three placement. That top does not fit. It is entirely too revealing. The rest of the dress is great, but. No.
Amy. A ridiculously well-made dress. Damn-near impeccable workmanship and fit. The skirt is a little too Tinkerbell-Flower-Princess for my taste, but I love the effect on the edging, and the open back was sexy without being trashy. Keeping the original color was risky, as almost everybody else dyed it. And her model is clearly delighted, even though Amy ended up ditching most of her original requests.
Jay. Michael mentions that his first impression was that Jay cheated — that the shirt was organza or something. The frayed edges are awesome, though I'm not sure I like them on the bodice too, what with the skirt being so fancy-looking. And again, inexplicably, the judges are completely not bothered with gaping issues around the boobs. AND. While I really liked this dress on the runway, here in the photos there's something distinctly figure-skating costume about it.
I would have given Amy the win, but Jay gets it instead.
Next time: EVERYBODY CRIES.